Written by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
Torchwood was a slow grower for me. You always knew it had the potential to be a great show, but it needed to find itself first. It started by feeling the need to prove it wasn’t Doctor Who by swearing every other word, talking extremely frankly about sex and pretty much having everyone wanting to do it with everyone else. It quickly calmed down, toned down the swearing and to a lesser degree the sex and slowly became the show it was capable of being. Yes it was for adults, but it didn’t feel the need to overdo it to prove it. The height of its success was being turned into a mini-series in Children of Earth; which gave us a great story with a heart-breaking end. So when I heard that Big Finish were bringing the show back in Audio form my interest, to say the least, was peaked.
It anyone could find the heart of this show and tell a story using its characters to their best, it would be them. And boy was I not disappointed with their second outing (the first I have listened to):
Fall To Earth
So whilst I was wondering if we would get the over sexualised, over sweary version (I somehow doubted we would) or the more deep dark plot version. I missed out on what this turned out to be; a totally new take that still feels as though it is from the same world. Big Finish at it’s best.
We join Ianto Jones who is on the test flight for a new commercial space plane that is hurtling toward the earth for a crash landing with everyone else on board being dead. He tries to call Torchwood but no one answers. The only hope our usually coffee fetching friend has is when a sales woman calls him up to sell him life insurance. But can she or will she help him? Will he have to buy every piece of insurance going to keep her on the line? Why has a file clerk been put undercover on a serious mission? Will our hero make it?
Some of these answers you may be able to guess. For instance given that we know how Ianto will eventually die he’s probably going to pull through this one!
But that does not detract from an awesome story. Gareth David Lloyd is at his best as Ianto; a character who only really hit his high point in the show just before they killed him off. In this story he gets not only to be centre stage and more than earn the privilege, but he gets to be funny and sarcastic. As in properly sarcastic, not just dry as he could occasionally be on the show to Jack.
Lisa Zahra as the call centre girl, Zeynep is funny, sincere and sometimes heart breaking. She is the everyday character who put in a larger than life situation shows how amazing she can be.
It is inspiring how this great script by James Goss and the wonderful acting keeps you hooked all the way through and how a cast of 2 so effortlessly fill up an hour of drama.
Torchwood is back and better than ever!
You can pre-order Torchwood Fall to Earth here; will be released on CD 31st December 2015.
You can find Doctor Squee and the Gallifrey Stands Podcast here http://gallifreystandspodcast.podbean.com/